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Off-White™ won't do a fashion show in September

Virgil Abloh's brand reorganizes the calendar of its shows in 2021

Off-White™ won't do a fashion show in September Virgil Abloh's brand reorganizes the calendar of its shows in 2021

A week after Gucci's announcement on the downsizing of its runway show, the top-player of contemporary fashion and most searched online brand of the last two years, Off-White™, declared its independence from the fashion calendar announcing that the brand will no longer show in September but in January and not with the FW21 collection but with the SS01 – which will arrive in stores as early as the following month , on Feb. In an interview with WWD, Andrea Grilli of the New Guards Group explained:

« We had been thinking for a long time of the relation between the deliveries of seasonal collections and the time frame when our consumers would actually buy them. […] Unfastening ourselves from the existing commercial boundaries, we grow our direct-to-consumer channels with more freedom to plan. In addition, starting in 2021 we have decided to adopt a full-price strategy, foregoing any markdown».

Along with this new release strategy will also be implemented a strong growth of the distribution chain and a multi-channel marketing plan that will push manufacturer and end consumer to interface more and more directly, increasing customer engagement.

Moreover, Grilli specified that, in any case, the new model of the fashion show close to the commercial release of the products is something very different from the see-now-buy-now format. The strategy of the New Guards Group will be to bring the presentation of the collection and its release as close as possible without affecting the quality of the product. Although Grilli did not explain the exact articulation of the procedure, nor the possible stop of pre-collections, speaking only of two moments dedicated in February and September to wholesale sales, in his words it can be assumed that the organization of commercial releases should take place month by month, making the offer to consumers much more flexible as well as the work of the designers :

«The collections will be organized by monthly deliveries and the depth of assortment will offer different layers and allow to satisfy any commercial requirement, leaving all the creative space that Virgil Abloh will need».

The new Off-White™ initiative, which even more than Gucci is currently a leader in the fashion market, is proof that the change advocated by many within the fashion calendar is not only possible but begins to take hold. Within two weeks, two of the top 5 brands in the world decided to break free from the industry's traditional obligations. And while it's likely that Off-White™ won't completely disle from the fashion week system, as Kering's brands have hinted at with their announcements, the idea of approaching the show and commercial release moments could be revolutionary for retail cycles across the rest of the fashion industry – an eventuality that Grilli has been aware of by saying :

«Our attitude upstream as companies will determine the impact downstream».